Update: The company that is the subject of a good deal of ribbing in this satire has, to its good credit, sent a more detailed 2014 water quality report, that we just received a few minutes ago. The company has, in fact, met standards on required contaminants and volunteered on a few others- also no issues. That said though, and this is not the company’s fault at all…for example, few (only two shown here) runoff and chemical factory discharge herbicide and pesticides are even required, to be monitored in the drinking water, and this is an agricultural area. It remains a complex and larger issue.
Last week, we received a letter titled, “Paducah Water: Important Information About Your Drinking Water, Total Trihalomethanenes (TTHM) Violation.” The letter explains:
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct this situation.
Trihalomethanenes, according to the letter are “four volatile organic chemicals which form when disinfectants react with natural organic matter in the water. At 0.081 mg/L, our tap drinking water was at least for a time, contaminated.
The letter says 0.081 is “not an emergency.” Could it be the water, that our teeth are not-emergency going bad at an alarming rate, and every night, Fred ‘does’ his eyes? Without going into the gory details, his eye routine involves me saying to him, “Oh, are you going to do your eyes now?” That’s how routine it has become, just like the box we have, labeled, “teeth,” that also has the ineffective mouth guard a dentist once suggested. But perhaps these are the normal routines of individuals who live with non-emergency environmental pollution.
We learned that when the West Virginia chemical spill happened that there really are hundreds of chemicals, toxins, and pollutants, and that the Ohio River, for example, could be more aptly named The River of Blood. Given the list of horrendous possibilities raising visions of the atomic era that earned Paducah the name “Atomic City,” we never once considered the simple possibility of a toxin hidden in plain sight in our drinking water.
The Paducah Water Letter advises:
If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water.
Yet they knew, by their own admission, on 1/2/2014, that the minimum standard for one of these chemicals was exceeded, and the information was “distributed” on 5/29/2014, and got to us…last week. That is the background for this satirical rantire:
What should I do?
There is nothing you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. Spit your remaining teeth out where no one is likely to step on them because sores on the feet never heal. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, notify an undertaker.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency, unless you’re alive. If you are, there is nothing you can do about it anyway, except inform your neighbors. We waited six months to tell you these things in a letter so that anyone inclined to hire the likes of a functional lawyer from Tennessee and sue in Federal court for any health reason at all, the six-month cushion will curtail those urges you may have to tie up our rigged dockets, while you spit your teeth out, onto the sidewalk.
It’s not lost on us that a good deal of the riff-raff will be weeded out from trying to get some sort of reimbursement from the courts for the trouble of drinking a mere four poisons out of many thousands of possibles on the planet that we shouldn’t even have to monitor but for the goddamned libruls and their tree-hugging kinfolks who moved here from someplace else who vote, but who should be burned at the stake instead. There will still be many literal walking dead who will amazingly, walk into Federal court, year after agonizing year, burning up from the inside out like those Hanford downwinders or those uranium hexafluoride people, and we will have to out-wait them, while they have the utter gall to stay sick for years.